With the growing popularity of using online and smartphone apps like Skype, Facetime and Google Hangouts for virtual meetings, these tools could be extremely useful for busy real estate agents to connect with their clients. Of course, nothing beats a face-to-face encounter, but virtual meetings, in many eyes, is the next best thing.
Virtual meetings are not for everyone, so it is important to confirm with your clients from the start if this is a mode of communication that works for them. Many people already use Skype, Facetime and Google Hangouts with family, friends and for work, so for them it will not be as big a leap to use.
However, if you have a client who is new to virtual meetings, you may want to reconsider. If they are open to the idea, then some helpful tips or even sending them an article on how to download and use it can be helpful.
Why Virtual Meetings Can Work
When you and your client cannot seem to make an in-person meeting work, a video conference can do the job. You should use them sparingly, but it gives you and your client a chance to see each other’s facial expressions and to give “virtually” undivided attention. It also gives your clients confidence when they can have some face time as opposed to very little face time throughout the process of selling or buying a home.
For example, if you have to go over a document or listing photos, you can easily share your screens.
How to Make Your Virtual Meetings Engaging
The more vibrant nature of an in-person meeting does not have to be completely lost during a virtual meeting. It just takes some extra measures to make sure that your client is engaged.
Address each client by name to give it that extra personal touch. They’ll appreciate that you are talking to them directly and will pay more attention to what follows.
It can tend to feel as if one person is presenting while the others listen. Be sure to pause where you can to ask questions, treating the meeting like an actual conversation.
It’s a good idea to have an agenda that you can follow for the meeting to guide your conversation. You don’t have to share this with your client, but it can help you keep the conversation moving. This is a great way to include spots within your agenda or notes to know when to pause for questions for either party.
What to Do with Technical Difficulties
When you set your virtual meeting date and time, be sure to be at least 10 or 15 minutes early. This ensures that you take care of any technical difficulties and have all of the screens you would like to share open.
Be prepared for a Plan B should technology go amiss. Have the documents or photos you were going to go over ready to email or email them in advance so that you can easily switch to a phone call.
Save Your Virtual Meetings for Your Records
Saving your meeting is a great way to have a record so you can refer back to the conversation. Be sure you let your client know that you are recording and that you will send them a copy.
Google Hangout has an easy way to record virtual meetings. Social media expert Kim Garst gives great instructions on how to do this.
Skype does not have this feature, however, a number of free tools can help you record your calls.
For Facetime, you can use Call Recorder for Facetime on your Mac or iPhone.